Women lawyers from South Sudan have called out the government to investigate a bizarre incident in which a family has auctioned their 17-year-old daughter for marriage.
Under the National Alliance for Women Lawyers, acting executive director Monica Adhiue, also wants those involved in the auctioning process to face the full force of the law for violating human rights.
Juba TV reported six men had shown interest to marry Nyalong Ngong Deng with various proposals; one suitor paraded 520 heifers and three Toyota V8 cars to win the teenager’s heart.
Speaking to Voice of America (VoA) on Wednesday, November 6, Adhiue said the practice though forms part of Dinka’s culture, it amounts to commoditisation of women.
“The practice is a gross human rights violation and violates the rights of a girl. It does not only deprive the girl child from education and limit her future opportunities in her life, but also increases the risk of violence, jeopardises her health, reduces the girl child to a property, and deprives her from the right to choose,” said Adhiue.
South Sudanese tycoon Kok Alat eventually emerged victorious as there was no any other suitor to match his 520 heifers, three Toyota V8 cars and KSh 1 million.
David Mayom Riak came third with 353 cows plus a parcel of land while Mawut Agorok managed 187 animals.
The group is also demanding that any government official who sanctioned the exercise be suspended.
“They need to be suspended from their office and this case to be investigated and, of course, whoever is involved in this auctioning also later needs to be properly investigated and held accountable because this is a violation of human rights,” she told VoA.